SMMAC "Printscapes of Solidarity: Palestine, Art and Revolution in Beirut’s long '60s" & "Pedagogies and Archives of Solidarity: the case of Tokyo Posters"
with Zeina Maasri, University of Brighton, Mohanad Yaqubi, Subversive Film, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts & Reem Shilleh, Subversive Film, Luca School of Arts
The stories we tell. Engaging archives otherwise – Contemporary Arab and Muslim Worlds Seminar Series (SMMAC) – 2021-2022
"Printscapes of Solidarity: Palestine, Art and Revolution in Beirut’s long ‘60s"
In the aftermath of the devastating 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and with the rise of the Palestinian Resistance from Lebanon, Beirut’s imagined political geography was being redefined as the revolutionary ‘Arab Hanoi’: a base and springboard for the liberation of Palestine, just as Hanoi was for South Vietnam, and a nodal city in the geography of revolutionary anti-imperialism. Beirut’s important infrastructures of art and publishing were politicised in this context, summoning a network of artists and intellectuals - from across the Arab world and beyond - into solidarity with Palestine. The politicization of the role of the artist in society at this particular global historical juncture was productive of new aesthetic sensibilities that were carried in and through the visuality of reproducible printed media, such as posters, cards, stamps, leaflets, periodicals and books. These neglected archives of visual and material culture offer an important lens to explore how transnational anti-colonial solidarity has shaped the revolutionary imagination of the global sixties; and crucially, provide historical insight on the hitherto understudied aesthetics of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle.
Zeina Maasri is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of the interdisciplinary BA in War and Conflict at the University of Brighton, UK. Before taking up her post at Brighton, she was both an independent graphic designer and an academic at the American University of Beirut (1999 – 2016) in Lebanon. Her new book, Cosmopolitan Radicalism: The Visual Politics of Beirut’s Global Sixties (Cam- bridge University Press 2020), is the result of a long-time research on the intersection of visual culture, design and politics in the postcolonial Arab world. She is the author of Off the Wall: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War (IB Tauris 2009) and the curator of related exhibitions and online archival resource (www.signsofconflict.org). Among other publications, Zeina is co-editor with K. Bassil, A. Zaatari and W. Raad of Mapping Sitting: On Portraiture and Photography (2002). She is currently co-editing a new book (with Cathy Bergin and Francesca Burke), entitled Transnational Solidarity: Decentring the Sixties, forthcoming with Manchester University Press in 2022.
"Tokyo Posters: Pedagogies and Archives of Solidarity"
In 2017, a poster collection was found in a house at the outskirts of Tokyo, the collection contains 30 posters, representing different struggles from around the world, and accumulated through the times, 60s, 70’s & 80’s by a Japanese solidarity movement. The poster collection was was scanned and and analysed as an educational source for transnational knowledge, observations and interventions on this process has been collected and will be pre- sented in this seminar.
Subversive Film, formed in 2011 and based in Ramallah and Brussels, is a cinema research and production collective that aims to cast new light upon historic works related to Palestine and the region, to engender support for film preservation, and to investigate archival practices and effects in these gestures of redistribution. Their longterm and ongoing projects explore this cine-historic field including digitally reissuing previously-overlooked films, curating rare film screening cycles, subtitling rediscovered films, producing publications, and devising other forms of interventions.
Mohanad Yaqubi is a filmmaker, producer, and one of the founders of the Ramallah-based production house, Idioms Film and is currently a Resident Researcher at KASK, School of Arts Gent.
Reem Shilleh interlaces research, moving image, curatorial, editing, archival and writing practices to question the infinite formations of memory and collectivity. Both Reem and Mohanad are co-founders of The Kitchen in Brussels.
This public seminar series will be both virtual and in-person at Université libre de Bruxelles.
Full program here
Wednesday 15th December 2021, 12 pm
Salle de réception
Building R - Level 3 - Room R3.105
Avenue Antoine Depage 1
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